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Thread: PCT in Dec/Jan?

  1. #1

    Default PCT in Dec/Jan?

    Hi all - I have a long winter break (mid-Dec to mid-Jan) and am considering doing part of the PCT during that time. Would any of the CA desert sections be doable then, without getting below, say, the 20s at night? Any thoughts on water availability? Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Upper East Side of Texas


    What have you got against the 20s at night?
    With the right sleep system you will sleep just fine.
    The big ole mountain north of Idyllwild could be a problem. Snow. Ice. Etc.
    No crowds are a plus. No Trail Angels and water caches are a minus.
    Have fun. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Georgia and Hawaii


    Go here Heather looking at sections. Then go to the NOAA weather website linked and look for historical weather highs/ lows, water etc for Dec and Jan. Cross reference that by looking at the So Cal PCT elevation profile for higher elevation places that are prone to snow in those months. Halfmile has the elev profiles listed per segment or you can look at all of the PCT SoCal elev profile.

    Out of favor with spoon fed soundbite ADHD crowds the Wilderness Press PCT Series books , specifically the So Cal book, I've found offer great PCT segment by segment descriptions if snow lingers in any of those segments and water info.

    May I offer Joshua Tree NP and Big Bend NP as possible Dec/Jan hiking alternatives. JT NP it does get down to freezing and snow is possible in the highest elevations. If up to and not thrown off by the label, Death Valley NP in winter can be nice for short hikes. Even in Dec /Jan although in the 20's at the S Rim the temps at the river can be winter pleasant in Grand Canyon NP.

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